The development of students with disabilities’ experiences concerning distance learning in the Emirati Universities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Muna Mohamed Alhammadi, Zeina Hojeij


This study investigates the developments in the experiences of students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on distance learning at three Emirati universities. It explores the students' experiences during the first semester of distance learning and analyses how these experiences evolved one year into the pandemic. The research adopts a qualitative approach, using semi-structured interviews to collect data from 21 participants, including 12 students with disabilities and 9 disability support staff. The study's findings highlight that during the initial months of online learning, the students encountered various technical challenges, such as difficulties with technology access, Wi-Fi availability, and lack of training in using assistive technologies. However, as the pandemic progressed, the students faced different challenges in the second year of online learning. These challenges included navigating online classes and exams, communication issues with instructors and peers, assignment difficulties, and feelings of social isolation. The results indicate significant developments in the students' experiences in the second year of distance learning compared to the first year.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Muna Mohamed Alhammadi, Zeina Hojeij

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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